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Off-roading in a full-size truck? Yep…it’s a great idea.
While full-size trucks were a go-to off-roading vehicle back in the day, they fell out of vogue for a while. But now they’re making a comeback with a vengeance.
You’ve likely seen a few full-sized rigs on the trail lately, and you might have wondered why someone would choose something like a RAM 1500 or an old-school Suburban for their off-road fun.
Let’s explore a few reasons why so many folks are off-roading in a full-size truck.
You Get Lots of Power
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Power isn’t everything, I suppose, but it sure is nice…
Full-size trucks offer a wide range of beefy engines, from gas-powered V8s with ridiculous horsepower to diesels that are torque monsters.
Granted, a diesel is way more expensive than a gas-powered 1/2-ton, but it might be worth it to you if you want an off-roader and a truck that can tow your boat with ease.
Even if you opt for a gas engine in your full-size truck, you’ll still get much more power than you will from a mid-sized truck like a Tacoma or Ranger.
Off-Roading in a Full-Size Truck Means More Room
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I’m a big fan of mid-size trucks like the Tacoma and Ranger, but they’re just plain small – both in the cab and in the bed.
With a full-size rig, you can enjoy more real estate to spread out in the cab (or room for more of your family and friends) while also having the ability to bring more stuff with you in the bed of the truck.
Obviously, you don’t need to weigh your full-size truck down with a bunch of stuff you don’t need, but it’s nice to have the extra room to bring granny along for the ride and a cooler with some nicely chilled boxes of wine to calm her nerves.
Heavy-Duty Parts are Often Standard
Many off-roading enthusiasts spend thousands of dollars upgrading their trucks with heavy-duty parts that can stand up to the abuses of running on rugged trails.
But with a full-size truck, chances are it already has beefy components that you don’t need to upgrade.
A 3/4-ton or 1-ton full-size truck will have heavy-duty axles that will be the envy of your off-road trailmates. That means that while your friends’ rigs are getting upgraded at the shop, you can head out on the trail with your heavy-duty axles right off the bat.
Bigger Tires Await You When Off-Roading in a Full-Size Truck
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I run 35-inch Nitto Trail Grapplers on my Jeep Gladiator. They aren’t small tires by any means, but then again, it’s not like the Gladiator is a 1-ton diesel…
An advantage of full-size trucks is that you can fit them with enormous tires without also adding a huge lift. In fact, a lot of newer full-size trucks from RAM, Ford, Chevy, and other manufacturers can easily accommodate 35’s without a lift and 37’s without much of a lift at all.
And tires are getting bigger, folks…
It used to be that 35s were considered big, but now 37s are gaining popularity. Before long, 40-inch tires and 42-inch tires might become the norm!
I can’t fit tires like that on my small truck, but if you get a full-size rig, the sky’s the limit!
If You Opt for a Classic Full-Size Truck, You Might Save Some Money
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When you compare prices of a new full-size truck and a new mid-size truck, obviously you’re looking at a huge price difference – a full-size truck is simply more expensive.
But if you want to get into off-roading in a full-size truck and you buy an older model, you could very well find a 1/2-ton or 3/4-ton truck with a gas engine for far less than a new mid-size truck.
The question, of course, is whether you want a new ride, albeit a smaller and less powerful one, or an older ride that gives you more options for carrying people.
I know plenty of folks that would opt for the new ride and tell their friends to get their own rig. But I know plenty of other folks that would much rather have a bigger truck, even if it meant buying one that’s 5, 10, or 15 years old.
What do you think? Is off-roading in a full-size truck right for you?